Heightened awareness dosen’t guarantee increased saftey

Recent tragedies, threats, and attacks have garnered the attention of the nation. Whether it is the bombing of an iconic marathon, increased foreign nuclear danger, or non-passage of gun control laws in the wake of yet another school shooting, Americans are in turmoil.

We are trying to make sense of crimes against humanity. We are trying to understand why politicians don’t seem to care about the lives of victims. We are looking for answers to domestic and international problems. We want to know what we can do to stop future adversities. We are seeking solutions.

MCT^Editorial

Many answers have been proposed: gun control reform, immigration reform, increased military spending, and improved mental health care are just a few. All of these solutions offer certain advantages, but perhaps it’s a combination of remedies that will bring increased security to our country.

Gun control reform could limit criminal access to firearms and explosive devices if properly written and administered. Increased background checks and decreased access to guns and ammunition may lessen the potential threat of firearm attacks.

Immigration reform could start 11 million illegal immigrants on the path to legal status, thus putting these people in the system and making it easier to weed out violent criminals. The current U.S. Senate bill would also strengthen employment verification rules and ramp up Social Security tools to prevent misuse.

Increased military spending could quell terrorists before they have a chance to attack our nation. With amplified threats from North Korea and Iran, some critics say an even greater U.S. military presence may deter assaults from lesser-armed entities.

Improved mental health care could help detect and treat the mentally ill before their animosity festers into physical violence. Instead of using the justice system as a hostel for psychiatric patients, increased access to doctors, medicines, and counseling may prevent crimes from happening in the first place.

These proposed changes and many others might temporarily help keep us safe, but they do not account for human ability to adapt to change, circumvent the system, and wreak unfathomable havoc on the lives of innocent people and their families.

Something else must change as well. Individually and collectively–as people, corporations and governments–we must start following the advice we give to small children; we must start doing unto others as we would have them do unto us.

Naïve? Maybe, but what are the other options? Pass more laws? Engage in another foreign war? Go on permanent lockdown? Have the police roam the streets with AK-47s 24 hours a day? We currently have more laws on the books and more law enforcement officials on payrolls than ever in the past, yet terror still reigns.

We must stop acting like children, hitting back when someone hits us. We must stop building our arsenal while condemning others for doing the same. We must stop trying to guarantee the protection of our own innocents by bombing other innocent people. We must stop blaming immigrants for our nation’s problems when all they are trying to do is live a better life. We must provide the same care for our nation’s collective youth and mentally ill as we would for our own children.

I’m not saying we should all just sit around singing Kumbaya, but as we pass more laws and try to prevent more tragedies, we must first utilize one of the oldest precepts in our world and bring an end to the senseless violence that plagues it; we must start following the Golden Rule.

Letter to the Editor

 

In your editorial of 12 Oct., I like that you provided figures for PBS, vacant federal buildings, and farm subsidies.  That does put things in perspective.
I would have to see, again, the part of the debate in which Romney brings up Big Bird; but I do not believe he “promised” to cut funding to PBS.  His point was that he would cut funding of things for which we have to borrow money from China to keep running.  No matter what gets cut, they are going to impact someone.  I, for one, would like to see the U.S. stop borrowing money from other countries.

- BJ Vinson

Robins merry men become Anonymous

Dennis Gosnell, Assignment Editor

There once was a man named Robin of Loxley who became known throughout Great Britain as Robin of the Hood. Robin Hood stole from the rich and gave to the poor; he was a man for the people.

In more recent years, Anonymous has taken up the mantle of the once great Robin. They seek out injustices wrought by big businesses and overzealous governments to prevent personal freedom and privacy from being extinguished.

Anonymous what the? ….

Officially Anonymous does not exist or have leaders. They seem to be an elusive shadow that anyone can join or claim to be a member of. This sounds shady. If you plot and send warnings of impending attacks, you are a group with an agenda. There is some form of leadership, there is also individual control over what is and is not Anonymous.

This leads to a variety of questions about the trustworthiness of such an organization that hides behind a computer without being held accountable for the actions of its members.

This is not to say that what Anonymous is doing is wrong. The everyday person has more to worry about than what is going on in global politics, economy, and unification. People worry about getting food on the table, having a place to live, and whether or not their children are happy, healthy, and safe.

The increasing level of personal freedom and privacy that is being stripped from the everyday person for the sake of security has made citizens question what is really happening in government. Thus, Anonymous has formed into a kind of resistance. Targeting social media sites, and businesses that exploit the trust of the people for whom they work. For this reason, governments both foreign and domestic are also targets.

Faceless men cannot be Revolutionaries

There is one problem though; faceless men cannot fight a war against injustice. One day some overzealous youth will take up the call, make a mistake and be convicted of espionage because they did not know what they were doing, but felt they were being called to fight in the ever-evolving Internet privacy war.

Would Anonymous go to their brother’s aid? It is unclear, as Anonymous can disclaim they were involved in any action taken. Is Anonymous scared of retribution? Why else would they claim to be a non-group of like-minded individuals who perform tasks pertinent to social freedom?

What do they really stand for?

So who is Anonymous, what is their objective? Are they for the people, vying for control, or just malcontent workers of former Internet companies? It is uncertain, as the shadowy cloak of the group’s image remains unseen.

One thing is for sure. What is unseen can be friendly or deadly, and Anonymous thus far seems to think they can take on the world. Until proven otherwise a stamp of “treat with caution” should be applied to the non-group’s business card.